November 29, 2010

That special group

You know what I wish I had more than anything else in this game? It's not gear, gil, power, or anything of that sort. What I desire is to have a small group of competent and skilled friends.

Now, I actually do have friends who are very skilled. Extremely skilled, in some cases. However, they are rarely available. Those who are available aren't usually around at consistent times, or I can only find one or two people at any given moment. Because of this, I usually wind up doing a lot of things on my own or with pickup groups if I'm lucky.

I truly don't understand why it seems so difficult for me to find a small group that I fit into. This should not be confused with a feeling of isolation with my current LS; I don't feel that at all. It's quite the opposite. I'm very much at home with this group. Well, when I can access the vent server, at least. Right now, I'm a bit detached from them because of some internet problems, but that's another tale.

What I'm talking about is that group of friends that you run out and do small things with. You know, go fight some NMs, do some quests or missions, farm some items...that sort of thing. That's the kind of group I want to be in, but my friends are always so scattered or already in their established groups. I don't always think about this type of deal, but a recent event brought it to the forefront of my thoughts. Are you ready for a story, my wonderful minions? Here we go.

A couple of posts back, I mentioned I had returned to leveling Summoner. I definitely like the job, but I had more or less retired that class. There's a reason behind everything I do, even when it appears trivial. Remember all the talk about improving some of my primary jobs? Summoner was never on that list, but I've been using that job more often than not lately. The reason behind this is because there are some other items in Abyssea that I am after, and really don't want to bother my LS or other people for. Items that are important to me don't necessarily have that same meaning for anyone else.

Enter the realm of the Iron Giants. I'm sure you've seen shouts for their items in Port Jeuno while you're looking for a party. Well, in my quest to improve, I noticed that these enemies have a few items that would be really useful to me. The first giant on the list for me is Ironclad Severer. I chose this one for multiple reasons. With this one, I could improve 2 jobs that are very useful in Abyssea (BLM / SMN) and there is also an item that would really help me with my melee TP set for Dancer, Corsair, and quite possibly even Ranger.

The next step was figuring out how to beat it. This is where SMN came into play. Could I do it with other jobs more effectively? I actually think I could do it faster as an RDM, but I still don't have wyrmal legs for movement speed. Though I have the Atma of Ambition, I think I'd be cutting just a bit too close for comfort. If I do ever get those pants, I'll certainly give it a shot. So I get SMN leveled, merited, and head off to find this thing. The first fight was not fun. I had no idea what to expect, despite reading wiki. I died multiple times, but I was fortunate enough to be on at a time when no one was camping. I came back each time until I finished the fight. Pitiful as it may seem, this is only the second major NM that I have ever fought on my own; the first being Boompadu a while back.

I remember telling Dierdren when I won. My hands were shaking and I was so excited to realize that I could not only fight this, but I could beat it. Naturally, the first fight took a long time for me. Well over an hour. Chalk it up to being inexperienced and afraid to take risks. Not to mention the whole multiple death and homepoints. Near the end, I did have a bit of help from Jamarn so it wasn't a 100% solo effort. Still, I was more confident to fight this without help now that I had an understanding of what it would do. Along with this win came the first of the upgrades, which went to SMN. While I could've taken the BLM piece too, I wanted Jamarn to have something for coming out and helping.

This was to become the place where I spent most of my solo time online. If I wasn't trying to build time somewhere, I was searching for this NM. When I saw people online who I thought might be willing to help, I'd wait to see if I could get the claim and then ask them to come out. Sometimes they would be able to, but many of the fights were done without them. At times when I arrived and someone was fighting it, I noticed something very different between them and me: They weren't alone. No matter who I met in that area, no one was ever by themselves. If a single person was there and got the claim, it was only a few minutes until an entire party arrived to help them.

So then I started to wonder, why don't I have that? Where's my group? For all the friends I've got on my friend list, why can't I get that small band of people that does stuff like this? I didn't want to beg people to come help me, so I just stuck it out and asked the few people that I saw online.

I think the most disheartening news I received during this whole thing was when I encountered a Japanese THF at the camp one day. I was fighting the giant when I got caught without Stoneskin and died. While there, a WHM was watching. I asked if they wanted an item and was willing to give it to them if they needed it. They said "I'm sorry" and I continued on until I died. At that moment, another Summoner entered. Then more people came, including this THF. He was the reason they all showed up. Turns out he and I were both after the last and most important item from this NM, Taranis's Harness.

There wasn't any expressed hatred from either side. I lost the NM and they claimed it. Fair is fair, I suppose. Miliani did show up to help me, but I more or less figured they would kill it and I just wanted the ToD. Turns out that Ironclad was pretty pissed from all of us messing around with it and it dropped the other group too. We got it back and continued the fight. While it was technically "my" NM since I got it when it first spawned, I felt a little sympathetic towards the other party. So I made a proposal to team up. It took a little while through auto-translate, but he agreed and we made it a team effort. Stupid giant still didn't put out, but now I had a small team to do this faster. He was willing to camp Severer as long as it took, but I had to run for Dynamis before the next spawn. Naturally, I get a tell mid-run. "{Body} GET ! ! ! !" Goddamn Dynamis.

Anyway, when our run was over, I resume the camping. The THF would talk to me in /t, but he was nowhere to be found as far as camping was concerned. He then told me: "You {/no} {Element} WS = {/no} drop." Referring to triggering the weakness of Abyssea NMs, he more or less told me that I was shit out of luck on getting that harness as long I was fighting as a Summoner. There was simply no feasible method for me to trigger the weakness. A part of me hated him for saying that, but he seemed to be right so far. Breathem tried to help me a few times with weaknesses, but it just didn't happen. The thought of not having a group got to me more and more.

People say that it's so easy to get a group of friends and go do things whenever you want. I beg to differ. Then again, maybe it's just me.


Tidis said...

To be honest, it sounds like he fully doesn't understand the weaknesses though, elemental weaknesses are for the red weakess (atma/Key Item).

For rare drops you'd want blue which is proabably the most annoying one to proc, which is a type of weaponskill based on the time of day.

I did also say a lot of stuff about groups but fuck that now because I lost it!

Jacinda said...

He actually knew what he was talking about, or at least he demonstrated it during our team fight. I think he just used the element expression because there isn't exactly a simple way to state the method for processing blue weaknesses.

Auto-Translate: Solidifying the language barrier, one broken expression at a time.

Preciouskitten said...

This is the main reason Seral and I have pretty much stopped playing. We have friends on here, skilled friends, but they're always busy with something/someone else. The top thing we love about the game is getting a group of good people together to accomplish something, and that became impossible for us, especially after the Cerberus merger.

If you ever figure out the secret, please let us know. ^_^

V said...

"What I desire is to have a small group of competent and skilled friends."

Amen. Although for different reasons, we share similar ideas. Unfortunately for me, 99% of the people who play "my game" are Japanese, so it's difficult for me to bond with them with the auto-translate... At the very least, you get to talk with your buddies in a language that you have strong command in—or comfortable with for that matter.


"Items that are important to me don't necessarily have that same meaning for anyone else."

Very true. Only 0.001% (or so) of players understand the equipment that I use. There are reasons why items like Mana Earring +1 and Gilt Cuisses are worth bank on servers like Lakshmi and Siren.

Evilpaul said...

"Gilt Cuisses"


Kiori said...

You don't need to do the weakness triggers to get stuff...they help, but it's not required. And I had a chuckle when I saw Jamarn helped you :p It seems I can't find anyone who doesn't know who he is.

Jacinda said...

Oh you didn't know? Jamarn is the pimp-daddy of Vana'diel. I remember the day I joined the EpicLS.

"Damn, Jamarn got another one?"

I kid you not, that's exactly what was said the day I joined. Apparently, he's well known amongst the female population. ^^